6/10/2014 | 1 MINUTE READ

Driver “Shortcuts” Take 50% Longer

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When drivers take shortcuts to avoid traffic congestion, they add an average 50% more travel time to their trip, according to TomTom International NV.

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When drivers take shortcuts to avoid traffic congestion, they add an average 50% more travel time to their trip, according to TomTom International NV.

The Amsterdam-based navigation service provider's annual Traffic Index report says congestion is on the rise and it's worse on secondary routes than on highways. The analysis figures the average commuter wastes eight day per year stuck in traffic.

TomTom's fourth annual Traffic Index shows that Moscow, which topped last year's list, remains the most congested city surveyed. In second place, again, is Istanbul, followed by Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. But the index ignores cities in Asia, where traffic jams are legendary.

The index compares travel times for passenger vehicles during rush hour with travel times when traffic is light, then expresses the difference as a percentage increase. In Moscow, for example, trips take 74% longer during rush hour. By comparison, rush-hour trips in Dublin the 10th-most-congested city on the list take 35% longer.

The five most congested cities in the U.S. are Los Angeles (36%), San Francisco (32%), Honolulu (29%), Seattle (27%) and San Jose, Calif. (26%). The worst cities in Canada and Mexico are Vancouver (35%) and Mexico City (54%), respectively.

In Europe, the most congested cities after Moscow and Istanbul are Palermo, Italy (39%), Warsaw (39%) and Rome (37%).